Herbert asks for #036;3M for wharf project

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 16, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

The price on the new waterfront park and marina under construction at Constant’s Wharf is going up – at least temporarily.

Last night, City Manager Steve Herbert asked the City Council to invest an additional $3.1 million to complete construction of the new seawall, bulkhead and marina on the banks of Nansemond River. Council will vote on the request during its next meeting.

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The cost overrun stems from a situation last year that stalled work on the 12-acre park for several months and prompted the city to fire its first contractor, Virginia Marine Structures Inc., Herbert said. About eight months into construction, city engineers began noticing problems with the company’s bulkhead work. Early last year, city award a contract to a Portsmouth firm, W.F. MaGann Co., to complete the project.

McGann had to start the project from scratch, including taking apart bulkhead construction that had been done, removing it and rebuilding it to city specifications, Herbert said. McGann is expecting to finish work on the park by May 2004.

&uot;That’s a worst case of the cost involved to finish the total project,&uot; Herbert said. &uot;…We anticipate and will seek to recover every dollar.

&uot;It is our conviction that the city will not be held liable for mistakes in design and construction.&uot;

Once the project is complete, the city will pursue compensation through negotiations or if necessary, legal action, against Virginia Marine Structures.

Construction to the park will not interfere with work on the Hilton Garden Inn and Conference Center, which is expected to begin within the next couple of months, he added.